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Greene touts backing of Dem who bailed in Congressional race

Jeff Greene's U.S. Senate campaign sent a press release today announcing that former Wilton Manors Mayor Jim Stork -- once a wellknown openly gay politician in Broward -- had endorsed the Democrat.

The press release omits that Stork angered Democrats when citing a health ailment he abruptly dropped out of his congressional race against Republican Congressman Clay Shaw in 2004. Shaw easily beat a last minute replacement.

In 2008, the Federal Election Commission fined Stork $30,000 after it concluded his ads about his Storks bakeries were campaign ads -- skirting campaign rules that prohibit corporate donations.

He joked about that fine in an email with the Herald at the time: "I guess it is a compliment that the federal government believes that the quality of my Stork's food can somehow influence voters' decisions." 

The press release describes Stork as the owner of Stork's Bakery in Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors. That's no longer the case. Stork sold the Wilton Manors location to his baker a few years ago and shut down the Las Olas site.

Stork emailed us a response as to why he endorsed Greene. He said Greene understands how to create jobs and has the resources to compete and Stork said he was concerned about candidate Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek's ties to developer Dennis Stackhouse.

"I really was unaware of the details of the developer deal that Kendrick's mother and Kendrick's chief of staff were involved with," Stork wrote. "I guess I wasn't following the political news as closely as I should have been.  I think it was a huge error in judgement and I cannot support Kendrick for that reason.  He just can't win.  It is surprising to me that others don't see it the same way."

But Stork, who said he had previously endorsed Meek, had some kind words for the Congressman:

"I have always liked Kendrick, liked the way he's voted and have always thought of him as a fighter, but I am supporting Jeff Greene."